Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run
By: Charles N deGravelles
Reviewer Rating: FIVE out of FIVE Stars
Best for: 12 and up
A Story of Success, Pride, a Fall and Redemption
Review by: Julie Hilton
This book is the only time I am aware of that Billy really opened up about his life story. Since he is my cousin, I knew much of the basics of his story and had seen about half the photos, but the details of his life were and are amazing to me. I remember in high school seeing his name on the front of Sports Illustrated in the library and borrowing it to take home. It was only a short time after we’d heard about his arrest on the radio which got my dad started on all the amazing feats he’d seen and heard about with Billy’s football days. Then at a family reunion while he was in prison and talk of when he would get to go home. His brother telling me all sorts of family history and sharing photos and stories, asking me to continue to learn and research more. Then hearing about Billy working at the penitentiary and making occasional appearances at LSU and elsewhere.
All these things are expanded upon in this book, but more than anything else, is the story of redemption and doing good, serving others, no matter what you’ve done before. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done wrong, you can always make your life count for something! Billy is a hero.
I love this book. It shares a story that can motivate all of us to make our lives count. It is a message about overcoming weakness and using our strengths to do good; and how strengths can become a weakness if we are not careful.
There is some mild language. There are a couple stories about “ladies of the night,” and several instances of criminal activity. I would guess the book would rate a PG-13. I think the pacing about right for a biography. I actually wish it were a longer book! There are mature topics, in the teenage antics of boys in a rough city, and criminal activity involving union bosses and of course, counterfeiting, among others.
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